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The City of Tyre Will Be Punished

23 This is a message
from distant islands
    about the city of Tyre:[a]
Cry, you seagoing ships![b]
Tyre and its houses
    lie in ruins.[c]
Mourn in silence,
you shop owners of Sidon,[d]
    you people on the coast.
Your sailors crossed oceans,
    making your city rich.
Your merchants sailed the seas,
making you wealthy
by trading
    with nation after nation.
They brought back grain
    that grew along the Nile.[e]
Sidon, you are a mighty fortress
    built along the sea.
But you will be disgraced
like a married woman
    who never had children.[f]

When Egypt hears about Tyre,
    it will tremble.
All of you along the coast
had better cry
and sail
    far across the ocean.[g]
Can this be the happy city
    that has stood for centuries?
Its people have spread
    to distant lands;
its merchants were kings
    honored all over the world.
Who planned to destroy Tyre?
The Lord All-Powerful planned it
    to bring shame and disgrace
to those
who are honored
    by everyone on earth.
10 People of Tyre,[h]
    your harbor is destroyed!
You will have to become farmers
    just like the Egyptians.[i]

Tyre Will Be Forgotten

11 The Lord’s hand has reached
across the sea,
    upsetting the nations.
He has given a command
to destroy fortresses
    in the land of Canaan.
12 The Lord has said
    to the people of Sidon,
“Your celebrating is over—
    you are crushed.
Even if you escape to Cyprus,
    you won’t find peace.”

13 Look what the Assyrians have done to Babylonia! They have attacked, destroying every palace in the land. Now wild animals live among the ruins.[j] 14 Not a fortress will be left standing, so tell all the seagoing ships[k] to mourn.

15 The city of Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, which is the lifetime of a king. Then Tyre will be like that evil woman in the song:

16 You’re gone and forgotten,
    you evil woman!
So strut through the town,
    singing and playing
your favorite tune
    to be remembered again.

17 At the end of those seventy years, the Lord will let Tyre get back into business. The city will be like a woman who sells her body to everyone of every nation on earth, 18 but none of what is earned will be kept in the city. That money will belong to the Lord, and it will be used to buy more than enough food and good clothes for those who worship the Lord.

The Earth Will Be Punished

24 The Lord is going to twist the earth out of shape and turn it into a desert. Everyone will be scattered, including ordinary people and priests, slaves and slave owners, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, the rich and the poor. The earth will be stripped bare and left that way. This is what the Lord has promised.

The earth wilts away;
its mighty leaders melt
    to nothing.[l]
The earth is polluted
    because its people
disobeyed the laws of God,
breaking their agreement
    that was to last forever.

The earth is under a curse;
its people are dying out
    because of their sins.
Grapevines have dried up:
    wine is almost gone—
mournful sounds are heard
    instead of joyful shouts.

No one plays tambourines
    or stringed instruments;
all noisy celebrating
    has come to an end.
They no longer sing
as they drink their wine,
    and it tastes sour.

10 Towns are crushed and in chaos;
    houses are locked tight.
11 Happy times have disappeared
    from the earth,
and people shout in the streets,
    “We’re out of wine!”
12 Cities are destroyed;
    their gates are torn down.
13 Nations will be stripped bare,
like olive trees
or vineyards
    after the harvest season.

Praise the God of Justice

14 People in the west shout;
they joyfully praise
    the majesty of the Lord.
15 And so, everyone in the east
    and those on the islands
should praise the Lord,
    the God of Israel.
16 From all over the world
songs of praise are heard
    for the God of justice.[m]
But I feel awful,
    terribly miserable.
Can anyone be trusted?
    So many are treacherous!

There’s No Escape

17 Terror, traps, and pits
    are waiting for everyone.
18 If you are terrified and run,
    you will fall into a pit;
if you crawl out of the pit,
    you will get caught in a trap.

The sky has split apart
    like a window thrown open.
The foundations of the earth
    have been shaken;
19 the earth is shattered,
    ripped to pieces.
20 It staggers and shakes
like a drunkard
    or a hut in a windstorm.
It is burdened down with sin;
the earth will fall,
    never again to get up.

21 On that day the Lord
    will punish
the powers
in the heavens[n]
    and the kings of the earth.
22 He will put them in a pit
    and keep them prisoner.
Then later on,
    he will punish them.
23 The moon and sun will both
    be embarrassed and ashamed.
The Lord All-Powerful will rule
    on Mount Zion in Jerusalem,
where he will show its rulers
    his wonderful glory.

A Prayer of Thanks to God

25 You, Lord, are my God!
    I will praise you
for doing the wonderful things
you had planned and promised
    since ancient times.
You have destroyed the fortress
of our enemies,
    leaving their city in ruins.
Nothing in that foreign city
    will ever be rebuilt.
Now strong and cruel nations
    will fear and honor you.

You have been a place of safety
for the poor and needy
    in times of trouble.
Brutal enemies pounded us
    like a heavy rain
or the heat of the sun at noon,
    but you were our shelter.
Those wild foreigners struck
    like scorching desert heat.
But you were like a cloud,
    protecting us from the sun.
You kept our enemies from singing
    songs of victory.

The Lord Has Saved Us

On this mountain
    the Lord All-Powerful
will prepare
for all nations
    a feast of the finest foods.
Choice wines and the best meats
    will be served.
Here the Lord will strip away
the burial clothes
    that cover the nations.
The Lord All-Powerful
will destroy the power of death
    and wipe away all tears.
No longer will his people
be insulted everywhere.
    The Lord has spoken!

At that time, people will say,
“The Lord has saved us!
    Let’s celebrate.
We waited and hoped—
    now our God is here.”
10 The powerful arm of the Lord
    will protect this mountain.

The Moabites will be put down
and trampled on like straw
    in a pit of manure.
11 They will struggle to get out,
but God will humiliate them
    no matter how hard they try.[o]
12 The walls of their fortresses
will be knocked down
    and scattered in the dirt.

A Song of Victory

26 The time is coming
when the people of Judah
    will sing this song:
“Our city[p] is protected.
The Lord is our fortress,
    and he gives us victory.
Open the city gates
for a law-abiding nation
    that is faithful to God.
The Lord gives perfect peace
    to those whose faith is firm.
So always trust the Lord
because he is forever
    our mighty rock.[q]
God has put down our enemies
in their mountain city[r]
    and rubbed it in the dirt.
Now the poor and abused
    stomp all over that city.”

The Lord Can Be Trusted

Our Lord, you always do right,
and you make the path smooth
    for those who obey you.
You are the one we trust
    to bring about justice;
above all else we want
    your name to be honored.
Throughout the night,
    my heart searches for you,
because your decisions
show everyone on this earth
    how to live right.

10 Even when the wicked
are treated with mercy
    in this land of justice,
they do wrong and are blind
    to your glory, our Lord.
11 Your hand is raised and ready
    to punish them,
but they don’t see it.
    Put them to shame!
Show how much you care for us
and throw them into the fire
    intended for your enemies.

12 You will give us peace, Lord,
because everything we have done
    was by your power.
13 Others have ruled over us
besides you, our Lord God,
    but we obey only you.
14 Those enemies are now dead
    and can never live again.
You have punished them—
they are destroyed,
    completely forgotten.
15 Our nation has grown
    because of you, our Lord.
We have more land than before,
    and you are honored.

The Lord Gives Life to the Dead

16 When you punished our people,
they turned and prayed
    to you, our Lord.[s]
17     Because of what you did to us,
we suffered like a woman
    about to give birth.
18 But instead of having a child,
our terrible pain
    produced only wind.
We have won no victories,
and we have no descendants
    to take over the earth.

19 Your people will rise to life!
Tell them to leave their graves
    and celebrate with shouts.
You refresh the earth
like morning dew;
    you give life to the dead.

20 Go inside and lock the doors,
    my people.
Hide there for a little while,
until the Lord
    is no longer angry.

The Earth and the Sea Will Be Punished

21 The Lord will come out
to punish everyone on earth
    for their sins.
And when he does,
those who did violent crimes
    will be known and punished.
27 On that day, Leviathan,[t]
    the sea monster,
will squirm and try to escape,
but the Lord will kill him
    with a cruel, sharp sword.

Protection and Forgiveness

The Lord said:

At that time you must sing
    about a fruitful[u] vineyard.
I, the Lord, will protect it
    and always keep it watered.
I will guard it day and night
    to keep it from harm.
I am no longer angry.
    But if it produces thorns,
I will go to war against it
    and burn it to the ground.
Yet if the vineyard depends
    on me for protection,
it will become my friend
    and be at peace with me.

Someday Israel will take root
    like a vine.
It will blossom and bear fruit
    that covers the earth.

I, the Lord, didn’t punish and kill
    the people of Israel
as fiercely as I punished
    and killed their enemies.
I carefully measured out
    Israel’s punishment[v]
and sent the scorching heat
    to chase them far away.

There’s only one way
that Israel’s sin and guilt
    can be completely forgiven:
They must crush the stones
of every pagan altar
    and place of worship.

The Lord Will Bring His People Together

10 Fortress cities are left
like a desert
    where no one lives.
Cattle walk through the ruins,
    stripping the trees bare.
11 When broken branches
    fall to the ground,
women pick them up
    to feed the fire.
But these people are so stupid
that the God who created them
    will show them no mercy.

12 The time is coming when the Lord will shake the land between the Euphrates River and the border of Egypt, and one by one he will bring all of his people together. 13 A loud trumpet will be heard. Then the people of Israel who were dragged away to Assyria and Egypt will return to worship the Lord on his holy mountain in Jerusalem.

Footnotes

  1. 23.1 Tyre: A fortress city built on an island in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of what is now Lebanon.
  2. 23.1 seagoing ships: See the note at 2.16.
  3. 23.1 Tyre. . . ruins: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 23.2 Sidon: A coastal city just north of Tyre.
  5. 23.3 along the Nile: The Hebrew text has “grain of Shihor, the harvest of the Nile,” but Shihor is probably a name for a region near the lower part of the Nile.
  6. 23.4 children: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 23.6 far across the ocean: The Hebrew text has “to Tarshish,” probably meaning a long distance.
  8. 23.10 People of Tyre: The Hebrew text has “the people of Tarshish,” which stands for the colonies of Tyre.
  9. 23.10 Egyptians: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
  10. 23.13 ruins: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.
  11. 23.14 seagoing ships: See the note at 2.16.
  12. 24.4 its. . . to nothing: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  13. 24.16 God of justice: Or “people who do right.”
  14. 24.21 the powers in the heavens: In ancient times the stars were thought of as powerful spiritual beings, and sometimes they stood for pagan gods.
  15. 25.11 no matter. . . try: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  16. 26.1 city: Probably Jerusalem.
  17. 26.4 mighty rock: See the note at 17.10.
  18. 26.5 our enemies. . . city: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  19. 26.16 Lord: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 16.
  20. 27.1 Leviathan: God’s victory over this monster sometimes stands for God’s power over all creation and sometimes for his defeat of his enemies, especially Egypt.
  21. 27.2 fruitful: Some Hebrew manuscripts have “lovely.”
  22. 27.8 I. . . punishment: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.